If I could change one thing about myself, anything at all, it would be to erase my anxiety and unpredictable fear. When I look at the world, I truly try my best to absorb it through the lens of compassion. Perceiving the world through sympathetic lenses is my personal way to overcome not just my fear– but my fear of fearing itself.
See, when you hear the word fear, it is not merely the feeling of “being scared.” For some people, it is terror. It is horror. And when a feeling like this takes over your lens of the world, makes you see things through crimson, panicky goggles, then there is a problem that needs to be addressed. There is a problem that needs to be confronted.
If no one is addressing this problem for you, then I will. I feel the need to reach out to others who have it, and to also connect it back to the topic of writing. Because, let’s face it. When it comes to getting our writing out there, we are all terrified.
So. Why do we fear? In almost all everyday cases and situations, our fear can be traced back to the real, gargantuan problem: failure. Think of a situation in your everyday life in which you were horribly afraid. Now, ask yourself: Why? Nine times out of ten, you can relate your reason to a fear of failing someone, something, or yourself. We can all agree that this panic or worry is irrational, and yet we feel it anyway in such a way that it consumes our mind and thoughts. It makes decisions for us, prevents us from accelerating in life. Keeps us from being who we are.
Now, people tell us every day to stop fearing. “It’s unhealthy,” they say. “It’s going to cause stress. And do you know what stress does to the body?” In response, you might swallow and shake your head, your lungs might already constrict at the prospect. They continue, “You could die early. You could die all ALONE. YOUNG. STRESSED. UNHAPPY. And oh, did I mention DEAD?”
It is “advice” like this that causes people in our society to actually fear the concept of being afraid. “It will cause depression. It will give you cancer.”
To help to give you a bit of a respite from this destructive type of thinking, my friend and I were recently talking, and she gave me a piece of advice that I won’t forget. Virtually, she said that tranquility is the perfect medicine to a heart of fear. Find your happy place, whether it be a sunny beach, a calm, ambient forest. Just… get there. Knowing that you can reach this place will help you to eradicate your fear of fearing.
A few weeks ago I was watching the Dr. Oz show and a young man named Drew Lynch was invited on stage, a fantastic comedian with a severe stutter. On the show, he talks about facing his fears; hearing what he had to say inspired me in more ways than one, so I feel compelled to share it with you as well. It truly helped me to put things in perspective; you can watch and listen to what he had to say here. In the video, he proclaims, “We cannot be afraid to explore boundaries. I like to do something every day that scares me.”
I’ve been venturing out of my comfort zone a lot lately, and I find myself face-planting into panic attacks more than I’d like to admit. If you struggle with this same predicament, I’m here to tell you that it’s alright. If you are afraid to get your writing out into the public, push your comfort levels and submit to as many publishers as you’d like. Try something new. Meet a new person. Be someone that others can look up to. Look at spontaneity as an adventure. If you do this, your fear of fearing will be no more. Because, like Drew says, “you’re never going to grow if you don’t scare yourself a little.”
Feel free to comment below if you have any questions, comments, ideas, or stories to share. Keep being awesome, and, as always, keep writing. 🙂
4 thoughts on “To My Fellow Introverts: The Fear of Fearing”
Fear is a powerful emotion that can be transformed into an equally powerful tool. One book that has really helped me (and I realize how cliché this is) is “Refuge Recovery” by Noah Levine. It’s not just for recovering addicts or trauma victims but it’s a set of tools that help gently change our perception of fear as something to be avoided and is a bad thing into something inside saying “hey please listen to me, I have something to say”. There’s some wonderful meditations in it that teach us how to sit with our fear and invite it to have tea (I know it sounds silly but it works for me). It’s more about developing a kind and compassionate relationship with it rather than treating it like the enemy.
If you are inclined, there is an excellent meditation app called “insight timer” that has guided meditations from all over the world, of different lengths, and subjects. Maybe this too could help. 🙂
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Thank you very much for the suggestions. I just downloaded the app, so I’ll see where it takes me and I’ll let you know! 🙂
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I had the same fear of getting my writings out to the public. I ask questions like what if they dont like it?, who told you that you can write something that can make sense to someone across the globe? Yet i never stopped writing. Finally I came across blogging and I signed in. The warmness I find by the likes and comments made me have more confidence in what I do. It took the fear away and gave me boldness knowing that someone out there awaits what I will write. Fear is a natural default instinct in man. The opposite which is courage must be deliberate. It is an intentional response to believe in yourself and ability. We should learn to pick up courage to replace our fears. Thats what I try to do when ever fear comes up…
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“We should learn to pick up courage to replace our fears.” I love that. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!
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